The changing face of personal computing continues to be reflected in new printer models. HP’s Officejet 4630 is the first all-in-one we’ve seen billed specifically as a smartphone and tablet printer. That’s not to say it can’t print from a PC or laptop, too, but it’s versatile enough to be able to print from most mobile devices.
One of the most surprising design features of the machine is its low profile. Although it’s fitted with a 35-sheet Automatic Document Feeder (ADF), the feed tray is horizontal and adds very little height to the machine.
In front of the scanner lid, set into a steeply raked front panel are easy-to-use controls. Although the printer has a low asking price, HP has built in a 50mm mono LCD display, bordered by membrane buttons that give menu control. And they are accompanied by a number pad for fax dialling.
Below the control panel a pull-down cover becomes the base of the paper feed tray, while a grey support swivels out from its front edge, with a flip-over paper stop to catch printed pages. This is not the most elegant solution to paper handling and the support is quite fragile – best to sit the printer back on the desk, so the paper support doesn’t overhang.
Hinging up the whole of the scanner section reveals twin ink cartridges, one black and the other tri-colour. While this makes maintenance simple, it can be wasteful if your colour use doesn’t match HP’s predictions and you run out of one colour before the others.
Although there’s a single USB socket at the back of the machine for cabled connection to a PC, wireless connection is preferred, as it opens up direct connection to the Internet for downloading HP’s predesigned forms.
Wireless needs to be used anyway for connection to smartphones and tablets and the free HP Android app and AirPrint support make it a very versatile printing tool.